Drag
Strategy
Strategy
Brand Building
Communication

As the center of gravity in the aviation industry moved from West to East, Turkish Airlines needed to reinvest in their brand to compete against the premium Gulf-based supercarriers. Instead of drawing from legacy national stereotypes, we designed a brand that channeled the rhythm and diverse spirit of 21st century Istanbul – offering a “Delightfully Different” air travel experience.

Challenge

To power the next phase of growth, Turkish Airlines needed to transform itself from a regional player to a global transit powerhouse. This meant competing against the Gulf-based carriers (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar) for international transfer passengers.

Thanks to larger wide-body aircraft (like the A380s) the Gulf-based carriers could invest in signature in-flight experiences like showers, apartments, business suites, and larger seats. Their marketing playbook was to focus communications exclusively on these experiences, creating a halo around their entire offer. This helped them build and reinforce strong perceptions as premium and innovative brands.

TA’s fleet on the other hand is primarily consistent with narrow-body jets, which did not have the required real estate. Traditionally marketing at TA focused on building name-brand awareness and perceptions of the brand also centered on functional attributes like cheap prices, discounts, and destinations.

No items found.
No items found.
Strategy

Emerging market growth meant the center of gravity in the travel industry was moving from west to east. TA was well-positioned to capture this growth thanks to its central hub and narrow-body fleet. With more than 80% of the world’s population is within 8 hours of Istanbul. Narrow-body jets could land in smaller airports in emerging second-tier cities (widebodies could not) and fly with higher daily frequencies thanks to quicker turnarounds.

We positioned Turkish Airlines as the cosmopolitan super-connector, the smarter, faster, and friendlier way to fly to and from the emerging world. We took the diverse, tolerant and cosmopolitan spirit of Istanbul and infused it across the experience. That way we could create a more inclusive space where people from all backgrounds could feel at home.

No items found.
No items found.
Activation

Saying it loud and proud
Directly translating our positioning into ambitious brand advertising aired during the Super Bowl.

Acting the part
We extended "Delightfully Different" into the in-flight experience by welcoming passengers with a fashion-forward dress sense that channels authentic local touches, and adding signature dishes from a variety of cuisines served by specialty-trained chefs.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
impact
+131%

Since the launch of the new strategy in 2013, revenue has skyrocketed 131% to $12.85 billion

82%

Load factor (how full the average plane is) rose three percentage points higher to 82%

155%

Increase of 155% to 75 million passengers, 16 million more than nearest Gulf rival Emirates with 59 million pax

201%

International passengers transferring at Istanbul iIncreased 201% from 2013 levels to 23.4 million

310

Turkish Airlines now flies to more 310 destinations, the most in the world

“Creative Business Co’s business led approach to brand strategy encouraged us to form a strong guest experience team to actualize our brand promise in more than 90 customer touchpoints. I am grateful to you and the team for helping us define the soul of our brand.”
Mustafa Mucahitoglu
VP, Customer Experience
other work